|Alan Sugar Net Worth:||$1.8 Billion|
|Born:||24th March 1947 (74 Years Old)|
British entrepreneur, Lord Alan Sugar’s net worth is a staggering $1.8 billion, according to the Sunday Times richlist. He is the 138th richest person in the UK.
Born in Hackney, East London, Sugar is an entrepreneur, media personality, and author.
Becoming a Teenage Entrepreneur
Alan Michael Sugar was born on 24th March 1947 to Jewish parents.
However, he has Russian and Polish heritage on his father’s side. His father, Nathan, worked in the East End garment industry as a tailor, while his mother, Fay, remained home.
Although today Sugar is a big family man and has good relationships with his children, the business mogul has said that he didn’t have a warm and close relationship with his parents in his early days and that his relationship with them was one of hard work and discipline.
During his childhood, Sugar lived with his family in a council flat. He attended Northwood Primary School and then went to Brooke House Secondary School.
Sugar struggled to focus on his academic studies as he was far more interested in the world of business and making his own way in the world.
He took a side job working as a greengrocer whilst at school for some extra money. But whilst most teenagers would waste their hard earned money on frivolous items, the astute Sugar had already learned that one of the most effective ways of building wealth was to reinvest your income.
Having learned this important principle early on in his career Sugar realized he had no more time to waste at school and left at the age of sixteen.
After a brief stint working for the Ministry of Education, the young entrepreneur famously started selling car radio aerials from the back of a van.
It was from these humble beginnings that the young Sugar would go on to become a multi-billionaire.
Alan Sugar Net Worth Explained: Launch of Amstrad
In 1968, Alan founded his first company, Amstrad. The name came from his own name – Alan Michael Sugar Trading.
To begin with, Amstrad was involved in importing and exporting a wide variety of goods.
Sugar has often remarked in his BBC show The Apprentice (more details below) that in the early days of Amstrad he would sell a wide variety of goods and then ‘smell what sells‘.
In other words, he started to focus on the products that were selling well and cut out all the poor-performing ones.
A simple yet effective strategy but one that he tries to teach to his apprentices to this day.
During the 70s, he recognized the emergence in consumer electronics and started to invest heavily in this area.
He was able to streamline the manufacturing process of hi-fis and home audio equipment, enabling him to undercut his competitors and grow his business substantially as a result.
Amstrad’s Rise To The Top
Off the back of his success in the consumer electronics sector and some twelve years after founding Amstrad, the company was listed on the London Stock Exchange for the first time in 1980.
Capitalizing on the early success in the technology sector, it was during the 1980s that Amstrad as a company would reach new heights.
With the development of the microchip and the emergence of the personal computer, the technology sector was thriving during this time.
In 1984, Amstrad sought to dominate the UK market by launching its first machine, the CPC 464.
The new machine had many competitors all vying to be the dominant player of the new industry, including the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, the BBC Micro, and the Commodore 64.
Despite the competition, Amstrad sold 3 million CPC 464s, and they were in production for eight years.
The success of the Amstrad computer meant that the company doubled its profit and market capitalisation every year during the 1980s…a phenomenal growth rate.
In 1985, Amstrad launched a word processor, the PCW 8256, which was another breakthrough.
The Amstrad PCW 8256’s cost was considerably cheaper than its rivals given that by now Sugar had mastered the skill of minimising costs during the manufacturing process.
The Decline of Amstrad
Although the company was never going to maintain the growth rate that it managed to achieve during the 1980s, the 90s saw the company come into a lot of difficulty.
One of the main reasons for their decline in sales was the new line of PCs that were launched with Seagate hard disks. The disks were extremely unreliable and significantly damaged Amstrad’s reputation after high levels of dissatisfaction from customers.
With plenty of alternatives in the market Amstrad failed to recover from this problem, and Seagate ended up paying damages of $22 million for lost revenue.
In an attempt at recovery, Amstrad tried its hand in the gaming market and released the GX4000.
Unfortunately, with its poor game selection, the machine was a commercial failure.
What’s more, two Japanese consoles, the Super Nintendo and the Sega Mega Drive, were launched soon after, and went on to dominate the market for years.
After a few more failed endeavors in the gaming market and a steady decline in revenue by 1996, Sugar was reportedly looking for venture capitalists to take Amstrad off his hands.
It didn’t materialize and instead, in 1997 Amstrad was wound up and split into its most profitable divisions, Viglen and Betacom PLC. Betacom was later renamed Amstrad PLC and the company focused on providing low-cost set-top boxes for its biggest customer, BSkyB (whom they had supplied since 1989).
By 2007, the broadcasting company BSkyB bought Amstrad for £125m. A year later, Sugar stood down as chairman.
Alan Sugar Net Worth Explained: Becoming Tottenham Hotspur Chairman
Following his initial success with Amstrad from the exponential growth, the company experienced during the 80s, the multi-millionaire wished to invest some of his fortune.
So, in June 1991, he paired up with future England manager Terry Venables to buy his beloved Tottenham Hotspur football club.
At the time, the football club was going through some financial difficulties with over £11million in debt. The new chairman’s finances helped ease the financial pressure the club were under.
However, since the club was a business venture for Sugar, he was not popular with the team’s fans.
Sugar has later admitted that he did make a profit from his time at the club which is something that the fans always resented.
The no-nonsense Londoner was chairman of the club for nine years. During his time, he came in for quite a lot of criticism. Although Sugar helped save the club from financial ruin the fans were desperate for trophies and the Amstrad owner wasn’t able to compete financially with the likes of Manchester United.
After sacking Terry Venables, many fans were left angry and wanted the owner out.
He also upset world cup winner and star striker, Jürgen Klinsmann, who described Sugar as “a man without honour”.
According to Klinsmann, Alan Sugar only talked about money and not the game itself.
The ‘spurs’ chairman, however, said that Klinsmann and french winger David Ginola were his proudest signings.
Former England and Manchester Utd striker Teddy Sheringham also criticised Sugar in his autobiography, claiming that he left Tottenham because of him.
In 2001 Sugar stepped down from Tottenham stating that it was taking up too much of his time.
Since leaving Tottenham, Sugar has referred to the period as “a waste of [his] life” and the club has gone on to win one trophy.
Achieving National Fame with The Apprentice
In 2005, Sugar starred in the BBC’s The Apprentice.
The show was an instant hit which saw young, hungry, arrogant entrepreneurs complete a series of business based tasks set by the business mogul.
Depending on their performance in each of the tasks a candidate (or two) would be fired each week until one was hired.
For the first five series, the winner of the show was employed in Sugar’s company and given a £100,000 salary.
Since 2011, the prize has been a 50/50 partnership with Lord Sugar and an investment of £250,000 for the winner to establish their own business.
One of the main reasons for the switch in the prize was because of the 2010 winner, Stella English, who after her year working for Sugar decided to take him to a tribunal in the hope of suing him for constructive dismissal.
After being advised to settle out of court Sugar instead decided to pursue the case as he believed it was an attempt for English to ‘extract money’ from me.
The first series drew in an average of 2.6 million viewers. The most popular of all 15 series was series 7, which drew in an average of 8.8 million viewers.
Sugar developed a belligerent reputation as he fired a candidate each week. What’s more, many of the series winners didn’t stay with Alan Sugar’s companies for very long – some lasted only a matter of weeks.
There have been a number of successes from the 50/50 partnerships including Susan Ma who is the owner of Tropic Skincare and is worth over £5million and Tom Pellereau whose Stylefile invention has made his company worth over £1million.
Honours and Awards
In 2000, Alan Sugar received a knighthood in the New Year Honours for “services to the Home Computer and Electronics Industry”.
Sugar also has two honorary Doctorates of Science, one by City University in 1988 and the other by Brunel University in 2005.
Sugar had a good working relationship with former British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
During the 90s the two former Labour Party leaders had rebranded the party to become ‘New Labour’ and were focussed on becoming the ‘party for business’ rather than their Conservative counterparts.
Sugar played an integral role for the party, advising them on their business and enterprise policy during their time in power.
In 2009, Sugar became a life peer, becoming Baron Sugar.
In 2015, he was named as the 5th most influential British entrepreneur by Richtopia.
Alan Sugar Net Worth: Books
Sugar has written a number of books about his life in business and growing up on a council estate in Hackney, including:
Sugar’s Personal Life
By his own admission, Sugar has never been overlay romantic and never had the ‘gift of the gab‘ when it came to meeting women, something he blamed his parents for and their ‘no-nonsense’ style of parenting.
He met hairdresser Ann Simons and the two dated for a short while before Alan proposed in a way that reflected his lack of romance.
Whilst travelling in their minivan over the Stratford flyover, Sugar told his future wife “I suppose we should get married then“. It was about as passionate as Sugar was going to get but by this time Simons had come to expect it.
Simons herself was brought up in a religious family who disapproved of Sugar’s stance as despite his Jewish heritage the businessman is an atheist.
He married Ann (née Simons) on April 28th, 1968 (the same year he founded AMSTRAD) in Great Portland Street Synagogue and honeymooned in Majorca.
Together, they have three children – two sons and one daughter, and they live in Chigwell in Essex.
Their eldest son, Simon, was born in 1969 and is the CEO of Amscreen, a digital intelligence company.
Daniel, the couple’s second son, was born in 1971. Daniel is employed at one of his father’s companies, Amsprop. Amsprop is a London real estate company.
Alan Sugar’s only daughter, Louise, was born in 1974.
Not much is known about Louise, but her husband, Mark Baron, works for her father’s company, Amsprop.
Alan Sugar has had a pilot’s license since 1975 and owns two planes – a four-seater aircraft and a thirteen-seater jet.
He also owns many boats, including a superyacht.
Sadly, both Alan Sugar’s brother and sister died from COVID-19 in 2020.
Alan Sugar Quotes
“Once you decide to work for yourself, you never go back to work for someone else.”
“If you enjoy what you do, don’t be afraid of expressing your enthusiasm. Enjoyment is infectious.”
A good leader is not necessarily the most popular person in their business, but the best ones are like because they are respected for their clarity and visionLord Alan Sugar
“Effective leadership is about earning respect, and it’s also about personality and charisma.”
“I don’t make enemies; it’s just I’m not afraid to speak my mind, which can sometimes mean people don’t like what I am saying.”
“Money is all right, but once you have it, you learn it’s not the be-all and end-all.”
“If you take care of your character, your reputation will take care of itself.”
Summary: Alan Sugar Net Worth
- Alan Sugar has a net worth of around $1.8 billion.
- He was born and raised in the East End of London to Jewish parents. His father was a tailor and had Russian and Polish heritage.
- Alan Sugar first began using his entrepreneurial skills when he bought a van and sold electrical equipment from it.
- He developed his flagship company, Amstrad, in the late 1960s.
- The company initially was a wholesaler and importer/exporter, but it soon developed into manufacturing electronics.
- The 1980s were Amstrad’s heyday, with the company going from strength to strength and being listed on the London Stock Exchange.
- Unfortunately, fierce competition in the 1990s saw Amstrad’s success dwindle. Nevertheless, Sugar had other things up his sleeve, including buying Tottenham Hotspur Football Club with Terry Venables.
- 2005 saw Alan Sugar become a household name when the first series of The Apprentice launched.
- To date, there have been 15 series.
- Alan Sugar has received many awards and accolades. He has been knighted by Her Majesty the Queen and also became Baron Sugar in 2009.
- Alan lives with his wife, Ann, in Chigwell, Essex. They have three children.
- Sugar owns a couple of planes and many boats.
- According to the Sunday times rich list he is the 138th richest person in the UK
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